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Virginians split on allowing armed teachers, according to VCU poll

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginians are split between on whether there should be a state law that would allow localities to train teachers and administrators to be armed in schools, according to a new poll by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The poll revealed that 49 percent of Virginians are strongly or somewhat opposed to training while 47 percent are strongly or somewhat in favor.

The 2018-19 Winter Public Policy Poll was conducted by the Wilder School’s Center for Public Policy. It randomly sampled 805 adults in the Commonwealth by landline and cell telephone and has a margin of error of 3.45 percent.

The poll found that Republicans (at a combined 73 percent) and white men were more likely to support a law to train teachers and administrators to be armed in schools.

That is compared to independents (36 percent) and Democrats (26 percent) who said they would it.

“Opening the door to localities arming teachers is one policy that legislators have floated and will debate in the coming legislative session,” said Robyn McDougle, Ph.D., director of the Wilder School’s Center for Public Policy.

The poll also found that those living in the West and Tidewater regions of the state were more likely to favor training while those living in Northern Virginia and the South Central region were more likely to be in opposition.

“These findings make it clear that Virginians are evenly divided on the issue, and that a person’s political perspective and location in the commonwealth are key factors in how many see the issue,” she added.

For the full 17-page study, click here.

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